Thursday, December 11, 2014

Listen: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - "Billions of Eyes"

While Maine export Lady Lamb the Beekeeper has been a welcome addition to the New York music scene for years, I hadn't had the pleasure of even sampling her music until she opened up a very special early show at Webster Hall for Typhoon earlier this year along with Wild Ones. It was impressive enough to make me instantaneously regret having slept on her 2013 full length debut Ripely Pine despite her set consisting of a number of new songs.

Thankfully now that I am in the know, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's upcoming sophomore record After is already on my release calendar. One of the things that struck me the most about Lady Lamb the Beekeeper was Aly Spaltro's songwriting chops - her knack for visceral, highly sensory lyricism. Songs like "Aubergine" and "You Are the Apple" get so much of their punch from Spaltro's visual-invoking lyrics. While "Billions of Eyes", the first single from Spaltro's sophomore record and Mom + Pop debut, finds her leaning more into her pop conventions than her folk rock growl, Spaltro's words still contain that same bite despite it's smoother delivery.

"When gravity's a palm pushing down on your head/like the devil's got a paw dug in your shoulder and the other is rubbing your back" Spaltro begins and you're already along for the rest of her tale regardless of where it's going. And it goes a lot of different places - part tour travelogue, part post-tour sentiments, "Billions of Eyes" zigs when you expect it to zag and Spaltro only briefly lingers on the most interesting parts of her song - the billions of eyes from which the track gets it's title is presented as an almost throwaway line despite it having the most narrative potential and an off-the-cuff reference to a saintly great grandmother is a fleeting drive-by. Instead of focusing on any of these Spaltro instead turns her attentions to the sort of camaraderie from shared experience before offering the briefest hint of a love song. It's not a totally new lyrical direction for Spaltro - she's transitioned songwriting subjects before but where the transitions were handled with lyrical sleight-of-hand before, Spaltro aims for a more anxious delivery - like the twist in an action movie.

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's sophomore record After is out March 3rd on Mom + Pop Records.

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